The PJ Tatler

Documents detail the Holder DOJ's release of a Marxist terrorist from prison

Her name was Marilyn Buck, and she was a convicted Marxist terrorist serving an 80 year prison sentence. She was nabbed for her role in the Brink’s heist in 1981. The heist netted $1.6 million for the terrorists, which was a coalition of the Weather Underground and the Black Liberation Army (the money was recovered). Two police officers and a Brink’s guard were murdered in the attack, and Buck was among the terrorists who got away. Nabbed four years later after living on the lam, she was convicted and sent to prison. You can read most of the details of her life in the obit the NYT ran when she died. It carries a touch of hagiography; the Times just can’t help itself. Buck didn’t die in prison, where she should have died. That’s why this story is interesting.


Who knew that the country would eventually elect a president who had his own connection to the Weather Underground? And, who had his own connection to Buck’s far left sympathizer at Harvard, Charles Ogletree. Young Barack Obama knew Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn of Weather Underground infamy; he launched his political career in their house, and served with Ayers on Chicago-area foundations. And when his Department of Justice had the chance to do the Weathermen a solid, apparently it did: Buck was released from prison in 2010, supposedly because she had repented her terrorist past (she had cancer and died within a month of release). But Christian Adams has had a look at the DOJ’s documents, and says politics played more of a role than any change of heart on Buck’s part.

Former DOJ Civil Rights division official J. Christian Adams, a legal expert and critic of Holder’s handling of cases similar to this like the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case, told The Daily Caller nobody will ever know if Buck’s views ever changed because there’s no substantial evidence of the claims. Besides what she and her attorneys told parole officers, everything she wrote shows that she thought the same way. Adams questions the Obama administration’s willingness to believe Buck and Elijah (Soffiya Elijah, Buck’s attorney), too, seeing as they’re both radically left-wing.

“Amazingly, the DOJ took Elijah seriously despite her being an advocate for Fidel Castro,” Adams said in an email. “Elijah is a notorious far left pro-criminal activist despite her position at Harvard. In previous administrations, Elijah’s views would have been afforded no weight. But in the Eric Holder Justice Department, crackpots like Elijah seem to have the power to release black panther terrorists.”

Another thing Adams points to with Elijah’s letters is that they’re written on Harvard letterhead. One of President Obama’s law school professors, Harvard Director Emeritus Charles Ogletree, appears on the letterhead. Adams said Ogletree has lots of pull with the president.

“The letters from Harvard with Charles Ogletree in the letterhead are telling,” Adams said. “Ogletree is a personal friend of President Obama and having is name on a letter seeking Buck’s release is like sending Buck the keys to open her jail cell.”


Buck’s terrorism career began years before the 1981 heist. She helped break fellow radical Assata Shakur out of prison in 1979. Her crimes netted her enough prison time that she should have served until her death or 2061, whichever came first. But she wrote some poetry (including one in which she seems to sympathize with the terrorists who attacked America on 9-11) and found sympathetic ears in the Obama administration, and these were enough to win her release. Thankfully, she was too sick to pose a threat, and her release is unlikely to become the political issue that President Clinton’s release of several unrepentant Puerto Rican terrorists in 1999 became. But Buck’s release is a window into the mindset of Obama and his administration. Put it this way — does anyone think for a second that if Buck had been a right wing terrorist with no connections to the Ayers group, she would’ve gotten an early release?

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